Chaos, malt whisky, fractals, order
and white noise...
Well, I'm back up and running and have
just finished FINALLY posting the photos from
Getting the site ready for
A10 and have found some excellent
web photo posting software that I downloaded and installed
around Christmas 2008.
...check this freeware out! This software has reduced
the work needed to manage the photo pages here by probably
90% and is actually fun to use. All pros and no
cons so far!
JANUARY 2010 UPDATE
time of liver punishment is again upon us!
Ardbeggeddon XI - the 11th
Annual PLOWED Society Clan Gathering
Sorry to report that I can't use my work laptop to
update this website anymore since our IT department stripped
off all the software I use and recently locked down the
admin rights. And so it goes...
This year I don't get to
promise to post from ground zero and then flake out as I
normally do... Sorry to disappoint disappointing you
Besides, there are WAY too
many astonishingly tasty drams at Ardbeggeddon to try to
properly record our annual 4-day whiskypalooza - how can any
mortal possibly hope to document heaven on earth anyway?
I should be ashamed...
...but I'm not because I'm
Please say a prayer for our evil
So this year I just get to hyperdram with
the Ringleaders without restraint and take ever
disintegrating tasting notes that I'll later use to cobble
together my version of "reality" at a later date - most
likely in February... at least some February - entropy
DOES rule here you know...
Here are the pre-A10 postings in the
meantime - I'm sure some of this probably happened.
of the Isles, Aye,
Your peat and smoke assail me
January in Vegas.
I'll not dram my age.
Other Updates to Website
Pussyfoot Johnson's Challenge -
Julio's Wasmunds MiniCask Entry
May 2009 Bourbon Barrel Sampling Trip to Kentucky
Buffalo Trace Antique Collection
My Last 10 Drams or So...
Here's a listing of the last 10 drams I poured for myself as
best I can recall
listed in reverse chrono order.
Last updated on 2/22/09 at 10 pm EST. (Wow, does this need
updating! I'm still dramming - one of the reasons no
Ardbeg 10 Vertical
Bottle Code Decoder Ring Section for more info)
This first HtH is bottled about 2 years apart and both
are US releases.
L7 143 09:06 4ML (bottled 5/23/07)
Ardbeg 10 yo, 46%
Nose: Sweet peat almost candied, faint heather on the
edges. Returning from the A5 there's substantively less
peat on the nose - I think I'm getting more of the malt
which is the sweetness I'm catching here.
Palate: more peat here than on the nose but not really
overwhelming, just everywhere. Slightly sooty on the
back palate and malty zestiness on the midpalate that
lasts maybe 30 seconds.
Finish: Huge, chewy, shifting peat complexity. This is
Ardbeg once the edges have been rounded off. Slightly
astringent with a touch of citrus near the end. Major
overlap between palate and finish here - they simply
Conclusions: I just love this A10 bottling and wish I
had more. Excellent balance between younger peat and
older deep complexity. Slightly sour edge on the back
finish but kind of interesting since it strongly
suggests another dram. Tonight I'm thinking there must
be some younger malt here to account for the peat but
mostly it's older Ardbeg. Wonderful. As always.
L5 110 17:50 4VL (bottled 4/20/05) Ardbeg
10 yo, 46%
Nose: No sweetness here - this is more seaweedy peat and
a real maritime background overall. More aggressive nose
and seems higher proof than the L7 as well but both are
46%. Opening up and getting more forceful as it
breathes. Dark sherry starting to show up strongly as
Palate: Dryer crispy heavier peat than the L7 and
noticeably less complex - the palate shifts a bit but
still remains relatively linear. Starts strong and blows
right across your palate leaving piles of peat scattered
in it's wake. Really tasty peat on a delicate sherry
base. Refill sherry casks vatted in this one?.
Finish: Another monster and almost as long as the L7 -
still more linear and a bit less complex. The maritime
character falls off fairly quickly and all you're left
with is tasty peaty sherried tinged happiness.
Conclusions: This dram presents more like the older
classic 10 yo but with some added bonus from some older
malts, but I think the age here is younger than the 2
bottling years between these two bottles. Don't get me
wrong, I like this dram and would buy more - I just LOVE
the L7 143...
Ok, next we drop back a bit and HtH two A10s bottled
almost 3.5 years apart:
L6 314 10:29 4ML (bottled 11/10/06)
Ardbeg 10 yo, 46%
Nose: Indistinguishable between these two bottlings on
pouring - have to be careful not to mix these glasses
up! L3 seems a "little" more in your face but you have
to look really hard. Ok, after 3 minutes or so the L6 is
shifting dramatically and getting sweeter as the peat
falls to the side - never noticed it dropping off this
fast before but normally don't start paying attention as
soon as I pour my dram either. Completely different from
the L3 now and very delicate smoked fruits - peaches and
cherries. That was a wild shift in only 5 minutes - this
bottle's only been opened 1 month where the L3 has been
open since last July 4 and is down to about 1/3, so it's
fairly stable now.
Palate: Sweet peat again and perfectly balanced - this
L6 is giving the L7 143 a run for it's money tonight.
Beautiful dram that dances on your palate leaving waves
of smoked honey, dark fermented fruits, and whisps of
flowery accents. I'm stunned... this is awesome.
Finish: Perfect and similarly overlapping with the
palate like the L7. Lots of complexity, lots of changes
and lots of perfection. wow
Conclusions: I didn't like this one when we opened it up
in mid-January but tonight it may well be the star. I'm
going to have to dram this against the L7 to see if I'm
losing my mind.
L3 170 10:10 4ML (bottled 6/19/03)
Ardbeg 10 yo, 46%
Nose: Mentholish peaty anaesthesia. There's something
really spicy and hidden back there too, bacon fat, vicks,
and a smoking fireplace (well, a peat stoked fire...)
Ever been to Bowmore during the fall on a cold day when
they're heating the houses with peat and peat smoke
hangs over the town? That's what I'm talking about.
Palate: Dirty peat - almost neutral from a sweetness
perspective. This dram is all peat all the time. And the
type of peat I call dirty peat - no seaweed, no heather,
no smoke - just peat and dirt. Which I like a lot.
There's something sweet on the midpalate that tries
desperately to come up from the depths but the dirty
peat beats it back into the murky expanse every time.
Finish: Dry finish with a little less dirt and some more
complex sweeter malty flavors sneaking in from the
edges. Peat falls off and finally allows that sweeter
component to break through.
Conclusions: Fairly straight ahead young monster ardbeg..
the way I like 'em! Interesting since it has both the
muscular structure of the younger bottlings with some
evidence of older whiskys showing up late in the game on
the finish. This is another good one that would work
well for a snowshoeing expedition to the back 40
midwinter. You'd survive no matter what happened.
Ok, to wrap up
this Ardbegfest, I'm going to taste the new 10 yo
distilled after the distillery was reopened by Glenmo in
This bottle code is all over New England and if you
start searching for A10 bottle codes I think you'll find
this code most everywhere. It will be interesting to see
what bottle codes Ryan has on the shelf tomorrow. I've
noticed lately when I open the boxes to check the codes
there are often fingerprints on the bottle already...
and so it goes! Sorry for smudging your Ardbegs Ryan!
L7 295 13:39 4 ML (bottled 10/22/07)
Ardbeg 10 yo, 46%
Nose: Ahh, this is young in your face Ardbeg again. No
messing around. Peat is more balanced than some of the
other bottlings we tried tonight and seems to provide
aspects of many of my favorite peat characterisics
including smoke, dirt, seaweed and heather. Overlaid on
a malty sweet base that has an edge of carmelly
spiciness. Complex for such a young dram.
Palate: Wow - smoke predominates in the front with spicy
astringency on the mid to back palate. Another huge dram
where it's hard to tell where the palate ends and the
finish begins. Again, more complex than I expected and
I'm quite pleased.
Finish: Waves of smoke roll off the palate to provide a
monster finish that just doesn't quit. Kind of leaves
you with a sense of singed tasty malt at the end that
makes you think you survived an extraordinary experience
only due to dumb luck. Another Ardbeg where you're
perfectly contented to sit there savoring the finish or
having another. It's all good.
Conclusions: This is another bottle I wasn't too
impressed with when I opened it back in early December
but am blown away with today.
Let's try something else to baseline this dram - I pour
a dram of the Renaisssance (Bottle Code L8 121
03:52 4ML - UK Release at 70 cl and 55.9%).
Nose is amazingly similar even with the much higer
proof. So we water it down to about 46%... and they're
almost impossible to tell apart. The Ren has a slight
bit more complexity on the nose but I wonder if this is
psychological since I know which is which? Difference is
that close. In a minute or 2 I'm getting a slightly
spicier edge on the Ren now. Palates definitely share
lots of similar characteristics although we're now
getting citrus from the Ren where we're not on the A10
which is sticking close to it's peaty character.
Although similar, the Ren is more complex and lighter
than this A10 but you can clearly see that the malt
characteristics are very similar. I just think they
cherry picked casks for the Ren here and used the cast
offs for the A10... I'm so grateful! The Ren pulls
further away as it opens up and the Ardbeg strange
attractor thing starts to kick in. I'm not worthy!
Bottom line - even though we're talking about finding
older ardbegs using the bottle codes this new bottling
is really good and stands up to these older A10
bottlings. The new Glenmo Ardbegs are worthy... Let's
just hope they don't become ultra luxury items and are
priced out of the reach of normal humans.
WELL ESTABLISHED SECTIONS
Northern New England Chapter of the PLOWED Society
The Malt Addict Sipping Society (MASS)
Malt Advocate and Whisky
the road - the rolling cult of Ardbeg fanatics
whisky aliases - where DOES that odd dram come from?
Children List (new!)
The Evolution of the Single Malt Whisky Fanatic
Dr Entropy's Domain Babysitting Project
The Ord's Prayer (composed at the Claggan during
FOAFing Trips to Scotland
Malt Whisky on the bleeding edge...
Photos of the Center of the Malt Whisky
Single Malt Whisky Issues, Concepts, Myths
Single Malt Whisky Haikus
Dr Entropy's Cask Strength Dilution
Technology Testing - Area 666
The PLOWED Internet
Inner Sanctum Tour
PLOWED-NNE Fuzzy Recollections
DrE's Virtual Hall of FOAFing
The Ord-inances from the
Book of OSFX
Online Dramming with
PLOWED - a guide to
acronyms and jargon
Online FOAFing Database of Liquor Stores (Community
What You'll Find
This website is
to documenting the
social aspects of
single malt scotch
The internet plays a
central role in
this dynamic culture
and I've met some of
the most amazing
Kind of hard to
My secondary goal is
to document the
vatting, and so
forth) that stem
from single malt
PLOWED is the
epitome of this very
sane insanity and
this site also
documents the PLOWED
experiences I either
remembered or more
immersed in the
water of life.
don't forget your
B-1 before going